Lukas Podolski made a flying start to his Arsenal career with a well taken brace in the 4-0 win over his former club FC Cologne, with vice captain Thomas Vermaelen and Gervinho also getting on the score sheet.
The match in Germany brings the Gunners organized preseason fixtures to a close as they prepare for this weekends Premier League opening tie against Sunderland at the Emirates. Wenger’s men will now go into the fixture on a high after a promising display against the newly relegated German side.
Arsenal’s latest and perhaps most exciting signing Santi Cazorla was involved from the get-go knocking in an accurate corner for Per Mertesacker to tee up his defensive partner Thomas Vermaelen who made no mistake with his head from close range to open the scoring in Cologne.
Podolski then made it two after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continued to impress, drawing a foul in the box to allow the German to open his Arsenal account from the spot after 15 mins. He was then able to double his tally with a powerful finish after some brilliant inter-play between himself and Kieran Gibbs resulting in the Englishman charging down the left flank and cutting back perfectly for the German forward to slot home emphatically.
Wenger changed up the team at halftime, leaving Podolski as the only player to take to the field for the final 45 minutes. The new-look Gunners side failed to recreate as much pressure and intensity from the first half, however Gervinho managed to settle affairs after cutting in from the flank and finishing tidily at the near post, effectively ending the tie despite increased pressure from Cologne.
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Podolski then made way for captain Van Persie after 69 minutes, leaving the field to a chorus of his name from the German international’s former supporters. The tie finished up with chances for either side, but it remained 4-0 at the final whistle.
Overall it was a very positive day at the office with new signings Giroud looking lively and was unfortunate not to get onto the score sheet, Cazorla slotting in well in the attacking midfield role and Podolski beginning his Arsenal career impressively. The clean sheet should get a mention which has been a rarity over the past year.
Not sure about you, but I’m certainly excited about the season opener against Sunderland, bring it on!
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